Lakshmi Lingam is a Professor in the Women's Studies Unit,
at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.
She has been on the Faculty since 1988. She has been teaching
courses on Gender and Health to Masters students in Social
Work and Health Administration at the Institute.
She holds a Ph.D degree from the Indian Institute of Technology,
Mumbai. She had carried out several research projects and
has published several papers on the subjects, women-headed
households, girl child, sex selective abortions, women's
studies, reproductive rights, occupational health, women's
health, migration, structural adjustment policies and gender.
Her recent research work is on 'Gender, Poverty and Structural
Adjustment'. She had also contributed to examining gender
and equity issues in Participatory Action in the rural provinces
of Northern Afghanistan of ActionAid Afghanistan in 2003.
Dr. Lakshmi Lingam is on the Curriculum Advisory Boards
of several Women's Studies Departments in Indian Universities
and also on Technical and Ethical Advisory Boards of NGOs.
She has contributed to gender and equity mainstreaming activities
of Government departments in few Indian States. She was
the General Secretary of the Indian Association for Women's
Studies for the period 2000-2002. She was a Visiting Scholar
at the Center for Education of Women, University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor during April-June 2003. Dr. Lingam was a resource
person at International training programs at Uppsala University,
Sweden and Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands.
Dr. Lingam is member of the Organizing Committee for the
Xth International Women and Health Meeting to be held in
2005 in New Delhi.
She has edited a book titled 'Understanding Women's Health
Issues: A Reader', (1988), published by Kali for Women,
New Delhi, which is widely used in Indian Universities as
a textbook. She has several papers in reputed journals and
'Towards Understanding Women's Health: Critical Overview
of Women's Studies', Samyukta: A Journal of Women's Studies,
'Taking Stock: Women's Movement and the State' in 'Social
Movements and the State' (Ed.,) Ghanshyam Shah, Sage Publications,
New Delhi, 2002.
Contributed Sections titled `Women's Educational Status',
`Women's Status in the Family and Society', `Women's Movement
in India' and `Women and Work to the WHD/WHO Country Profile
on Women, Health & Development, April, 2000.
`Migrant Women, Work Participation and Urban Experience
`Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol.59, Issue No.3,
p.807-823, July, 1998.
`New Reproductive Technologies and Violation of Women's
Bodies', Madhyam, Special Issue for Beijing, Bangalore,
Micro-Credit and Women's Empowerment: Negotiations
with Multiple Patriarchies
The past two to three decades has shrunk the world into
a global village at a galloping speed due to information
technology, communications and transnational production
and transfers of goods, services and capital. Human rights,
gender equality and peace as global values have spread along
with the concern to eliminate poverty, child labor, war,
conflicts, violence against women, sexual abuse and ecological
degradation. Economic restructuring policies that pave the
way for globalization are evidently accentuating inequalities
and poverty of households in large parts of the world. 'Feminization
of poverty' and growing female-headed households along with
the pandemic of HIV/AIDS is the underside of globalizing
nations. The resolutions, ratifications and Platform of
Action documents emerging from several UN Conferences testify
the contestation of various stakeholders in holding on to
the global human values and goals. The discourse of women's
empowerment through micro-finance/credit and self-help groups
within an enabling environment provides a glimmer of hope
in the midst of adversity for poor women. However, there
is a lot of instrumentality in the micro-finance sector.
It is important to ask: 'is micro-credit good for women
or women good for micro-credit?' The present research proposal
outlines the possibility of carrying out an empirical research
in one of the southern states of India, Andhra Pradesh,
to comprehend rural women's perspectives and voices on being
part of self-help groups. The present proposal touches upon
the critical issues like women's empowerment, livelihood,
women's and girl child's access to household resources and
women's negotiations with multiple patriachial institutions
like the household, community, markets and the State.